London Film Festival Day 7: The Birth Of A Nation, I Am Not A Serial Killer & Layla M

2. I Am Not A Serial Killer

The Birth Of A Nation Armie Hammer Nate Parker
Irish Film Board

Dan Wells' 2009 thriller novel gets a moody treatment here as sociopathic teen John Wayne Cleaver (Max Records) decides to put his murderous urges to good use by hunting down the local serial killer (Christopher Lloyd).

It's a grimly enticing premise, one which director Billy O'Brien delivers on by exploring the cerebral aspects of both characters as they approach their inevitable third-act face-off.

There are some delicious twists along the way that keep the film on the right side of off-kilter, specifically a genre-bending twist that audiences unfamiliar with the source material almost certainly won't see coming. It may sink the film for some audiences, but more open-minded viewers may appreciate its sheer ballsiness above all else.

You might remember Records from his lead role in 2009's Where the Wild Things Are, but he's done almost nothing since, but his anxious, ambiguous work here is sure proof he needs to be in more movies. Lloyd, playing massively against-type here, is an absolute hoot as the local creep with a very dark secret.

Rating: It won't be to all tastes, but for audiences who can appreciate an uncommonly psychological approach to the thriller genre, with plenty of demented turns along the way, this will be a real treat. 7/10


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.